Sponsored church sleep-out
On Friday 2nd March, I was part of a small group of young people, from in and around Dorset that came together to raise much-needed funds for a charity called Alabarè. We had heard about Alabarè’s wonderful work with the homeless and we all felt very compelled to help out in one way or another.
We had been preparing for this night for a while, but didn’t really know quite what to expect. After two meetings with the Rev. Mark Perry, finally the night arrived…
We met in Sutton Waldron at 8pm and our plan was to spend a cold and windy night on the church floor; with not much more than a sleeping bag.
Initially, it sounds mad! But the idea behind it was simple. Through this, we could experience what it is like for the homeless living on the streets during this terrible weather, and learn to appreciate what we have at home.
Firstly, we organised where abouts it was that we were going to sleep. It was agreed that we would sleep near the end of the church – a place that somehow felt warmest!! After this, we walked down to the village hall where we were lucky enough to have a fish and chip supper.
One thing that occurred to us, was that the temperature outside was almost the same as inside the church, and the whole experience was becoming a little more serious and less comfortable.
On returning to the church, we each detached ourselves from the excitement and chatter to have some personal and private reflection. Mark Perry gave us paper and pencils to write down any thoughts or feelings that we may have at that point. These thoughts were then shared and Mark Perry led an intimate and short service. We listened to a true story of a girl on the streets and also the song ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ which really gave us a lot to think about.
Everyone was very tired following the night’s events, but I think we can all agree that it was extremely difficult to fall asleep on the hard floor! There were no major issues, but it certainly wasn’t a night of luxury.
Heating, food and shelter aren’t really an issue for many of us, but by doing the sleepover, we feel as though we have helped to change the lives of it least a few of these vulnerable people. In the morning, we were back at the village hall for some breakfast where we discussed what we had learned.
We are so glad we took part in the sleep-out and would recommend anyone to take part next year! A big thank you to Mark Perry and all the helpers that made the night a success, and of course, the people that sponsored us.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of those that brought in chocolate for the Giant chocolate raffle at my school. We drew the winner this morning (Miss George – PE department) and have plans to use the extra chocolate that we have to raise some more money for Alabarè’s work.
Overall we all raised approximately £800!
By Evie Age 14